Sunday, September 18, 2011

Preserving fruit with Anne

A couple more photos from our bottling workshop with Anne Elliot. I like the one where Anne's hands are clearly clapping for attention, and we're all laughing as we work. And, of course, the great demo of pouring the syrup over the freshly cut pears, yum! Anne will do another bottling how and tell workshop at the Katoomba North Footlight Festival, a local eco-fair where Anne and I will have a stall for Slow Food Blue Mountains and Blue Mountains Fruit and Nut Tree Network. The date for that is Saturday 22 October. The Saturday before and after are the first two sessions of the TAFE growing fruit and nut plants in the Blue Mountains course being delivered by Sue Girard at the Blue Mountains Organic Community Gardens, also in North Katoomba.

Monday, September 12, 2011


I'm getting lots of reports, and have personally experienced, that lemon (and other citrus) trees here in the mountains suffered badly from the severe winter and cyclonic winds this year. It's important to try and protect lemons from frosts and winds because they damage bud growth and rip leaves off the plants. Remember you can always remove lemons when they are still green and ripen them inside. Lemons are one of the most frequently used kitchen fruits. At the recent preserving workshop that Anne Elliott held — and will be delivering again at the North Katoomba Footlight Festival 22 October — we almost-quartered lemons (i.e. cut them right down to the nipple but kept the fruit intact), stuffed them with course sea salt, laid them in a big glass jar and covered them with lemon juice and more salt (as in the photo above). After this, the jar needs to be inverted daily to make sure the salt dissolves well and the mixture is evenly distributed over the lemons (as in the photo below). These preserved lemons/lemon skins are rinsed on removal and make wonderful additions to all kinds of dishes, especially any time your lemon tree has no fruit left on it for you to use. (Both photos were taken at the recent workshop.)

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Scrumpers are foragers or gleaners. Where fruit fly exists people who pick fresh fruit from trees on land that isn't owned or cared for perform a social purpose as well as enjoying the fruits of their labour. Check out Scrumpers Delightwe can add trees from the Blue Mountains. The tool for establishing the scrumper's map is drawn from the Live Local Experiments in Local Living site, which offers other ways to share information too. The Urban Orchard project is yet another site for sharing your fruit and nut swap and stall activities. Write the date of the Eco-Fair Footlight Festival (see to the right) in Katoomba in your diary.


We can harvest a wide range of fruits and nuts locally each season.

Local fruit and/or nut gardeners are invited to make additions or suggest modifications to the following work-in-progress compiled by Lizzie Connor.


Across the mountains: loquat, mulberry, rhubarb, strawberry and (in late spring) raspberry

Best in the lower mountains: avocado, jaboticaba, lemonade


Across the mountains: apricot, blueberry, boysenberry, cherry, currant (red, black, white), gooseberry, kumquat, loganberry, loquat, mulberry,nectarine, peach, plum, raspberry, rhubarb, strawberry and (in late summer) almond, apple, fig, hazelnut, passionfruit, pear (incl. nashi), pomegranate, youngberry

Best in lower mountains:lemon (Eureka), lemonade, lime, mandarin, orange, persimmon (non-astringent) and (in late summer) avocado, babaco, macadamia, rockmelon, wampee, watermelon

Best in upper mountains: jostaberry, lemon (Meyer), persimmon (astringent)


Across the mountains: almond, apple, chestnut, feijoa, fig, grape, hazel, kiwi fruit, kumquat, medlar, olive, passionfruit, pear (incl. nashi), plum, quince, raspberry (some), rhubarb, strawberry, strawberry guava, walnut

Best in lower mountains: avocado, babaco, cherimoya, grapefruit, lemon (Eureka), macademia, monstera deliciosa, orange, pine nut, pistachio, rockmelon, tamarillo, walnut, watermelon, white sapote

Best in upper mountains: lemon (Meyer), mandarin (Satsuma)


Across the mountains: apple, hazelnut, kiwi fruit, kumquat, pear (incl. nashi)

Best in lower mountains: grapefruit, lemon (Eureka), orange, tangelo

Best in upper mountains: avocado (Bacon), lemon (Meyer)